Shane Warne’s tantrums may hold him back (1994)

January 15, 2013

90's Flashback

Sporting Link with Graham Wilson

(of The Four Kinsmen)

On With the Show's

Flashback to Variety Today 1994

HAS Shane Warne lost the plot? It would appear so after watching Shane's amazing antics after dismissing Andrew Hudson in the 2nd innings of the First Test in Johannesburg.

Here is a guy who has captured the imagination of all cricketing fans young and old alike with his incredible talent at such a young age. He's admired by players and administrators of all cricketing nations as something truly special due to his outstanding variety and control at 24 years of age.

Twenty years ago every young cricketer wanted to bowl like Lillee and |Thompson and have a chain dangling around their necks. Today, young cricketers at coaching clinics and playing in their local competitions all want to be shown how to bowl leg-breaks, wrong-uns and flippers and have an earring. "What has a dolphin got to do with cricket?" asked one guy whom I work with and shall remain nameless.

Ho hum! All sports need superstars to entice spectators through the gates and to guarantee unlimited publicity in the media. More than any other player in recent times, Shane Warne has achieved that for the team and himself personally.

So why does a player in the infancy of his career with unlimited ability success, exposure and marketability who realistically could play for another 10 or 15 years and set records that will probably never be broken seem so intent on a path of self destruction with the public, commentators and the hierarchy?

In late December 1992, I was at the MCG watching the final day of the 2nd Test between Australia and the West Indies. The match was over by the tea adjournment due to a superb bowling performance by Shane Warne who took 7 wickets. His demeanour on the field that day was to be admired from the grandstand. No hysteronics - just excitement on his face at the way he dismantled the opposition.

Afterwards, at the media conference, he seemed quite humble at what he had achieved. So what has gone wrong?

After the success Warne had in England, it would seem he expects success very quickly or he gets annoyed. Going by general reaction in all walks of life, Shane has lost many admirers due to his tantrums.

Hopefully, the adverse reaction in South Africa and in Australia will see Shane revert to Shane Warne Bowling Supremo instead of Mug Lair.

Like John McEnroe, the tennis great, getting wild doesn't seem to affect his talents.

Sledging has been going on for a long time in cricket but players insist that once they leave the field it's all forgotten. In the dressing room after the game, they all have a drink and laugh about it. Supposedly! Does anyone seriously believe Hudson and Warne shared a drink after that incident?

Shane, with the right attitude, could be as big a star in Australia as Michael Jordan is in the USA. I, for one, hope he makes it.

Rugby League set to kick off

I'M writing this column the Tuesday preceding the start of the 1994 NSW Rugby League competition. As usual, the week before the kick-off, every team is optimistically looking forward to the season.

At this time, every team is equal on the points table and predicting a successful season providing injuries don't interfere with team selection and hopefully Lady Luck and good fortune smile of them.

Realistically, after five or six rounds, a third of the team's main goal will be to avoid the Wooden Spoon while another four will be hoping for a minor miracle to sneak into the Top Five.

Coaching a side, whose major ambition for the season will be severely diminished after a few rounds, must be a soul-destroying job. Looking for ways to keep players motivated knowing premiership aspirations are virtually nil would not be the easiest job to undertake though every year there are always numerous ex-players applying for vacant positions with teams that had a very ordinary previous season.

On Friday, March 11, the competition began with a bang and on Sunday, September 25, will finish with an even larger bang. In between, there will be hundreds of stories of bad luck, rotten refereeing decisions, bad administration, frustration with the judiciary and worst of all, talk of players leaving to join other clubs in 1995.

Seems like some things never change but hopefully the football will be entertaining and the Premiers will be the team 80 kilometres south of Sydney (where I live). I can dream, can't I? Time out!

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